November 1, 2012

Are the Boy Scouts Trying to Emulate the Catholic Church?

Andy joke Catholic Boy ScoutsBack in February, I wrote about the pressure many of us receive in our places of employment to donate to religious charities. I noted that my employer, which happens to be the state government, pushes us to donate to our local United Way chapter. The local United Way chapter then distributes the funds to local chapters of the Salvation Army, Boy Scouts, and a mission that promotes Christian bible study. Needless to say, I do not donate to this agency no matter how much pressure I face to do so. I've also managed to inform a few co-workers about how this works so that they too are refusing to donate.

Now I have yet another reason to offer besides my standard line about not being interested in supporting religiously-motivated bigotry. It appears that the Boy Scouts of America have not been much better than the Catholic Church when it comes to handling matters of child sexual abuse.

I understand that no organization is going to be eager to broadcast something that makes them look bad. At the same time, I would think that a group focused on children would want to do everything it could to show that it was taking child abuse seriously and making the protection of children its highest priority. The Boy Scouts already has an awful record when it comes to discrimination. I sincerely hope that they improve the manner in which they handle child abuse.

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